Way back in 2007 I cobbled together a set of rules intended to link the strategic level game Pax Romana with Commands and Colors: Ancients in a grand campaign. Of course, I made the rules far too complicated and could never get anyone interested in playing them, so they got put on the backburner.
But having recently had my interest piqued by posts around the traps and by participation in a multiplayer sci-fi campaign being run by a fellow blogger, I've decided that my next project should be to develop a game that combines a multiplayer strategic overview suitable for umpired email play and a zoom-in tactical game, with the latter quick enough to be completed in the time it takes to play a couple of matches of tic-tac-toe.
I have the tactical game mostly organised, so I'm now thinking about how to get the strategic game sorted out.
I want there to be diplomacy, conquest, a simple civ-building aspect, an economic structure, and multiple ways to gain victory points.
The economic engine will connect the various parts of the game together, so the first thing - and the subject of this post - is to get that right.
Income will be derived from towns, cities, province control and control of special areas. As a rough guide, a city should generate enough income to keep an army in the field.
Supply will come from province control. One home province should generate enough supply for one army; two secondary provinces should provide enough for another. I'm thinking that it should cost progressively more in supplies to maintain armies that are farther afield.
It will cost money to build outposts, towns, and cities, with the idea being that it will take around three turns of income to recoup the initial build costs.
1 talent for each town controlled.
1 talent for each province controlled.
1 talent for each region controlled, where a region comprises all the provinces within a particular area, such as Italy, Iberia, etc.
1 extra talent for control of especially wealthy provinces.
2 talents for each city controlled.
1 talent to build an outpost.
1 talent to pay for the upkeep of an existing army.
1 talent to raise reinforcements for an army or fleet.
1 talent to fund a campaign into unfriendly territory.
2 talents to raise a new army or fleet.
2 talents to pay for the upkeep of a fleet.
2 talents to convert an outpost into a town.
4 talents to convert a town into a city.
1 supply per province.
1 extra supply for especially bountiful provinces.
1 extra supply for ravaging a province.
1 supply per city
2 supplies per home province.
1 supply to upkeep a fleet.
2 supplies to upkeep an army, with 1 extra supply for every two provinces it is distant from a home region.
As an example, a player controlling an Italy made up of three provinces would gain 2 talents from Rome, 3 talents for the 3 provinces, and 1 talent for controlling all provinces in the region. These 6 talents would pay for the upkeep of two armies, would allow 1 talent to fund a campaign, and would allow 3 talents to be invested in town, fleet, or army building.
That player would receive 1 supply from the city, 2 from the province of Rome, and 2 more from the other two provinces in Italy for a total of 5. 4 of these would be spent on army upkeep and 1 could be spent to fund an army campaigning outside Italy.
The phases of the turn are as follows, with with income/payment phases bolded:
1) Collect supplies and income and pay upkeep.
2) Recruitment and campaign funding phase.
3) Movement phase.
4) Civ build phase.
5) Victory point phase.
So there we have the economic basis, though it will no doubt be tweaked as I go...